Speaking at a press conference at the Interfax-South office in the Rostov region on Thursday, Picard said that automobiles carrying Cargo 200 (a code word for dead bodies of soldiers) were crossing the border through Donetsk and Gukovo check-points. The coffins were carried in Gazel minivans. All in all, 21 coffins were spotted crossing the border since August 2014, he added.

According to the chief observer, minivans with coffins crossed the border in both directions.

In his words, the trucks which are crossing the border are usually shut and the observers cannot see what’s inside.

Picard also said that the OSCE monitors had not seen any armed people crossing the Russian-Ukrainian border at the Donetsk and Gukovo checkpoints over the past year.

Picard explained that at the Donetsk and Gukovo checkpoints, OSCE observers had seen people dressed in uniforms with different identification marks, including marks of Novorossiya.


In the past year, OSCE mission members have not observed any military hardware passing through the Donetsk and Gukovo checkpoints, except for hardware belonging to the border guard service, he said.

OSCE monitors have seen helicopters, airplanes and drones over these checkpoints 115 times, he added.

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